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P > PHILIPS  > VG 8020   

VG 8020

The Philips 8020 belongs to the MSX 1 family. In fact, it wasnt't built by Philips, but, as the Yashica MSX, built by Kyocera in Japan. The VG8020 comes in 3 different versions : 8020/00 are first PAL models, 8020/19 Secam models (black case) and 8020/20 PAL models with a more integrated motherboard.

There is another difference between the Secam and Pal models, one missing key. The Pal versions have one key at the right side of the right SHIFT key which is missing in the Secam version. It can be easily checked comparing pictures found here. The function of this key is for entering accents; specifically accent acute, accent grave, circumflex and tréma.

There's another vital difference between Secam and Pal models, the RF lead, which is missing in the Secam models.

Due to some differences in the chipset, the Philips VG-8020 was not always 100% compatible with other MSX-computers. Typing 'poke -1,170' before loading programs usually fixed the bug.


Contributors: Francisco Martin, Martijn

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In regards to the idea mentioned here that they sold a 80k RAM version in Spain to avoid taxes (like the Amstrad CPC 472 by adding unusable 8k to the CPC464 in Spain): The 80k statement was printed on all VG 8020 cases and it is just marketing by adding the 64k system ram with the 16k video ram. It’s still a 64k system ram computer and they did have to pay the Spanish tax. $-)

Tuesday 6th July 2021
Folko (Germany)

hello :-)
Sure the vg 8020-19 (France) has no RF out since...RGB (din to scart) output instead, yeah $-)
Great feature at this times in early 80ties, also on other old computers sold in France.(ex:ti99)
Better video quality with this $-)

Monday 29th June 2020
Thierry (France)

$$Due to some differences in the chipset, the Philips VG-8020 was not always 100$ compatible with other MSX-computers. Typing ''poke -1,170'' before loading programs usually fixed the bug.

That''s not correct. It wasn''t a problem of the comp, but of the software that didn''t follow the standard specs. Well done software never failed.

Monday 18th June 2012


NAME  VG 8020
TYPE  Home Computer
ORIGIN  Netherlands
YEAR  1984
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  Microsoft Extended Basic (MSX Basic V1.0)
KEYBOARD  AZERTY / QWERTY, mechanical keyboard
CPU  Zilog Z80
SPEED  3.58 MHz
RAM  64 kb
VRAM  16 kb
TEXT MODES  Mode 0 : 40 x 24
Mode 1 : 32 x 24
GRAPHIC MODES  Mode 2 : 256 x 192 with 16 colors (Hires mode)
Mode 3 : 64 x 48 with 16 colors (Multi colour mode)
32 sprites
SOUND  General Instruments AY-3-8910 Programmable Sound Generator
3 channels, 8 octaves
I/O PORTS  Centronics port, 2 cardridge slots, Tape-recorder connector, RGB video output, 2 joystick sockets (Atari standard), RF lead video output (PAL models)
OS  MSX DOS (with optional floppy drive unit)
POWER SUPPLY  Biult-in switching PSU
PRICE  455 (France, september 85)

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